Labour’s parliamentary candidate Catherine West has written directly to Lynne Featherstone MP challenging her to support an upcoming vote in the House of Commons on repealing many of the Government’s highly controversial NHS reforms.
The private member’s bill supported by Andy Burnham and Labour’s front bench is being debated in the Commons on 21st November. It will call on the Government to stop the further Privatisation of the NHS and amend the Health and Social Care Act 2012 to remove contentious requirements around competition in the NHS.
In the strongly worded letter Catherine West says the Commons vote on Friday is a ‘direct opportunity’ for Lynne Featherstone MP to show if she supports ‘an agenda of further damaging privatisation or supports the founding principles of the NHS, where patients are put before profit.’
Labour has already said it will repeal the Coalition Government’s Health and Social Care Act if it wins the General Election in May 2015.
Since the Coalition’s £3 billion top-down reorganisation, figures show that in Haringey one in five patients now has to wait at least 7 days to see their GP and waiting times for A&E and operations in London are on the rise again.
The NHS is a key part of Labour’s General Election campaign both nationally and in Hornsey and Wood Green. Labour’s commitments include guaranteeing people a GP appointment within 48 hours, funding 20,000 more nurses and combining health and social care into a single service.
The private member’s bill on 21 November is being tabled by Labour MP Clive Efford and is being fully supported by Labour’s front bench.
Open letter to Lynne Featherstone MP
Dear Lynne Featherstone MP,
I am writing to you, urging you to support an important upcoming vote in the House of Commons on the future of our NHS.
As Labour’s local candidate in next May’s General Election, concerns about the future of our vital local health services come up time after time in conversations with local residents.
Your Government rushed the 2012 Health and Social Care Act through Parliament, opening up huge parts of the health service to ‘any willing provider’ in the private sector. NHS spending on private and other providers has now gone through the £10 billion barrier for the first time.
We’ve seen disarray among patients and staff. Figures show that in Haringey one in five patients now have to wait at least 7 days to see their GP, worryingly, waiting times are growing for operations and A&E treatment across London and referrals for cancer treatment are taking longer.
At the same time, it’s a disgrace that the Government have lifted the cap on private sector treatment in NHS hospitals, when other patients are left waiting on trolleys for hours.
Clive Efford’s private member’s bill in the House of Commons on 21st November is a direct opportunity to show if you support an agenda of further damaging privatisation or support the founding principles of the NHS, where patients are put before profit.
Among other things, the bill calls on the Government to stop the further Privatisation of the NHS, restore the legal duty of the Secretary of State for Health to provide National Health Services and amend the Health and Social Care Act 2012 to remove controversial competition requirements.
The NHS is one of our country’s greatest achievements. Yet under David Cameron and Nick Clegg, local people are being denied the treatment they deserve. Labour rescued and rebuilt the NHS after a generation of Tory neglect. Now, we have to do it again.
The reason people love and trust the NHS is because, for all its faults, it is a service that is based on people not profits.
As we head to the 2015 General Election, local people in Hornsey & Wood Green deserve to know which side of the argument you’re on.
Labour Parliamentary Candidate in Hornsey & Wood Green